Mobile app development can be a very slow and frustrating process, if you do not take the help of a modern app development agency. In fact, it can also be a very expensive affair. By conservative estimates, it can cost anything between $50,000 and $1 million to develop, test and deploy an app for the world. The time factor must also be considered – it can take more than 6 months for the app to be finished. There are also going to be costs involved to take care of updates and maintenance. Complete app development can be a very costly affair.
Large conglomerates like Facebook, Uber, etc. also have had to invest a lot of resources to develop their successful apps. They have managed to do so well because they realized that development in just one of the things that you need to focus on. The costs of deployment and regular maintenance will come as an unpleasant surprise to you, if you do not prepare to meet them beforehand. In fact, development only counts for 35% of the total cost of the mobile app. The monthly maintenance costs can easily be $5000 to 10,000 for a medium-sized business app.
Main Cost Categories
You will have to understand exactly how apps are built, so that you can identify the exact costs that you are going to incur. You also have to understand app architecture – so that you can make better decisions while you are on the lookout for development agencies. Here are five services that you’ll need to get for your app.
- Functional Services: For any app like Facebook, Uber, Spotify, etc. the functionalities are what sets the app apart from its competitors. While the developer can come up with a basic functionality for you, the system won’t be tenable until you purchase the exact module that’ll constitute the delivery mechanism. These functional services include push notifications, SMS and email integration, etc.
- Administrative Services: To make a successful app, you also have to update the info on the app on a regular basis. Since it makes no sense to call the dev company every time you need to make a change, you need the dev agency to build you a complete admin dashboard. These will constitute a key percentage of your costs.
- Infrastructural Services: You will also need to invest in servers and hosting services if you want your app to be robust and secure. It is financially impossible for small and medium-sized businesses to set up their own server farms. You can take advantage of cloud technology and outsource all of your infrastructural needs to large organizations like AWS or Google.
- Data Storage Services: You are also going to need a ton of storage space, since your app is going to collect and maintain a mountain of data. You can also analyze this information and provide your customers with better services. You can make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make sure that the deployment process runs very smoothly.
- IT Support Services: Maintenance costs are going to take up a huge part of your total budget. It is truly a critical component of your app development process. Estimates show that ongoing support for iOS and Android updates can cost you $10,000 yearly. App updates will also constitute a major cost that you need to take care of very regularly.
On an average, functional services will cost you $5000 annually. Infrastructure costs are very large and cost you more than $20-25,000 annually. Large companies like Facebook and Uber can afford to host their own server farms, which decrease their costs in the long run. Also, IT support will cost you $25-30,000 on an annual basis. These are the main costs involved if you want to create something big like Facebook. Even by conservative estimates, you need to shell out upwards of $100,000 to create something that can stay afloat successfully.
Hidden Cost Categories
So far, you have gained intimate knowledge of the main costs that you will have to incur when you develop an app. Apart from these, there are also some hidden categories that can take you by surprise if you’re unprepared. Here is a breakdown of these costs.
- Development Tools: You will need to invest at least $1200 every year so that your development tools, function libraries, etc. can be kept updated. If you are using paid development tools, you will need to get a lifetime subscription.
- Data Storage: One hidden cost that most companies completely blank on is the cost of data storage. It is very important to store user information safely – and proper data storage services will cost you $3600 to $4000 on average.
- App Updates: You have to keep improving and developing your app as time goes by. It is not a good idea to stay stagnant – as the massive amount of competition can have a terrible result on your business’ growth. Update submissions will cost you at least $2400 every year.
- Application Programming Interface (API): Every app has multiple APIs that they need to contend with, and you will need to account for the API maintenance costs that you incur as well. Large-scale apps like Facebook, Spotify, etc. have to invest a lot of money to keep their APIs updated. You will have to spend at least $5000+ every year.
- Images Data Storage: One aspect of data storage that people forget is image data. Apps nowadays use a lot of images and you will need a safe image storage facility that also enables you to download and process the images. You can subscribe to services like these as well. This will cost your app at least $5000 every year.
If you engage the services of a cross platform app development agency that can provide you with high quality and comprehensive services, then you will be able to reduce your development and maintenance costs by a very large factor. Using such services will also allow you to remain in full control of the creative and development process.